Wednesday , Nov , 15 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hoyas head to Music City for clash with Commodores

Nashville, TN (Sports Network) – The eighth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas hit the
road for the first time this season, when they invade Memorial Gym in
Nashville for a non-league bout with the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Hoyas
opened their 100th year of basketball on a high note, as they defeated
Hartford 69-59 on Saturday. The team certainly got the result it wanted, but it
was a rather lackluster effort by a Georgetown team that is considered by many
to be a serious contender for the national championship. The Hoyas enter
the season with such high expectations thanks to the return of three
starters and several key reserves from a squad that went 23-10 a year ago
and made an appearance in the Sweet 16.

As for Vanderbilt, it will be kicking off its season tonight from Memorial Gym
where it went 10-6 last year. The Commodores figure to give Georgetown, and
all of their opponents for that matter, a difficult time as they return three
starters from a team that went 17-13 and made the NIT in 2005-06.

The all-time series between Vanderbilt and Georgetown is knotted at 1-1, with
the Commodores winning last year’s meeting, 68-61, on the road.

The Hoyas came out victorious in their season opener thanks to solid
rebounding and free throw shooting, as they dominated the boards, 39-24, while
converting 19-of-24 attempts at the charity stripe. The team shot a decent
41.5 percent from the floor overall and also did a respectable job in
committing just 12 turnovers. Jeff Green led the charge as he poured in 17
points and ripped down seven rebounds. Green is one of three returning
starters and is coming off a season in which he averaged 11.9 ppg and 6.5 rpg.
Roy Hibbert, a 7-2 center who contributed 11.6 ppg and 6.6 rpg in a starting
role last season, added 16 points and five rebounds in the win. Jonathan
Wallace, the team’s third returning starter, also got into the mix, chipping
in with 13 points.

The Commodores’ strength will once again reside in the backcourt thanks to the
return of Shan Foster and Derrick Byars. Foster can score points in a hurry,
averaging 15.9 ppg last season, and at 6-6, he has the ability to play in the
frontcourt as well. Byars is another versatile guard and at 6-7 he may also
see some time down low. Last season, Byars averaged 12.4 ppg while knocking
down 44.1 percent of his three-point attempts. The versatility of both Foster
and Byars is a big plus for Vanderbilt, which doesn’t have a legitimate inside
presence. Ted Skuchas (6-11, 250 pounds) has good size, but isn’t a proven
scorer (3.0 ppg), and he will need to work on that if the Commodores are to
compete for a winning season.